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Diversity and Inclusion

Innovative, integrated recruitment, diversity, and inclusion initiatives that enhance graduate student research, teaching, and outreach.

 The Office of Recruitment, Diversity, and Inclusion focuses on graduate student recruitment and on providing support to students as they get acclimated and adjusted to their graduate programs/certificates through the development of inclusive and diverse programming to meet students' needs.

Our primary objective echoes Dean DePauw's goal of having students thrive, not just survive, during their graduate education experience. We focus on the importance of creating growing communities by providing frequent opportunities for students to participate in welcoming environments to maximize their success and degree completion.

Together with InclusiveVT, the Division of Student Affairs, and academic departments, we offer programs and services to ensure that graduate students thrive.

The 2020 Virtual HBCU/MSI Summit is scheduled for October 29 and 30. The faculty track will be on October 29 and the student track will be on October 30. 

Information flyer about 2020 Virtual HBCU/MSI Research Summit. For info visit

Our mission, vision, and goals 

Provide campus leadership in collaboration with academic departments and colleges in developing, implementing, and operating events and activities that are designed to recruit and assist underrepresented students’ personal development, academic achievement, and graduation.

Provide exceptional support and retention services to American Indian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, First generation, Active Duty and Veteran, LGTBQ+, Non-traditional, and Differently Abled students, increasing enrollment, and improving graduation rates.  

1.       Increase the outreach, recruitment, and graduation of U.S. historically underrepresented groups (i.e., American Indian, Black/African American, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander).

2.       Support students' adjustment to campus by coordinating guidance and counseling support among other campus units.

3.       Maximize collaborations with campus units and student organizations to create environments and programs to support and sustain students’ success and continuation at the University.

4.       Strategize with academic units in monitoring the progress of students and make appropriate referrals to campus units.

5.       Promote and develop educational opportunities and enrichment activities to help facilitate the educational and personal growth of student participants through organized activities and collaborative efforts with other campus units.

The ORDI Advisory Board members are alumni who serve a three-year term to provide guidance and support regarding the goals and vision of the recruitment, retention, and graduation of diverse graduate students at Virginia Tech.

Nayesdi Badillo-Delgado, MA, ’15, Educational Leadership and Administration

Jeremy Barksdale, MA ’12, Public Administration, Ph.D. ‘13, & Policy and Computer Science

C.L. Bohannon, Ph.D., ’15, Architecture & Design Research

Kelly Cross, Ph.D., ’14, Engineering Education

Whitley Johnson, MA, ’16, Educational Leadership and Administration

Chris Kwaramba, MBA ’15, Business Administration

Adwoa Baah-Dwomoh, Ph.D. ‘18, Material Sciences and Engineering

Michelle McCleese, MA, ’05, Sociology

Reggie Stroble, MA, ’14, Educational Leadership and Administration

Contact: Dr. Shernita Lee, Director, (540) 231-6529

Asst. Director, Dr. Justin Grimes, (540) 231-3399